Introduction: Wine Bottle Capacitors

Making a capacitor out of a wine bottle.

Step 1: Materials

What you will need to make the capacitor:

Empty Wine or Beer Bottle
Boiling Water
Scotch Tape
Clear Nail Polish
Mixing Cup
Goo-Gone (optional it make cleaning the bottles easier)
Wooden BBQ sticks
Vegetable Oil

Step 2: Cleaning the Bottles.

You need to remove all of the papers and stickers from the outside of the bottle and clean out the inside. The best way to do this is to scrape it off with a knife and then clean the goo off with goo-gone. Make sure that the inside is free of anything other than water. Then make sure that the outsides are completely dry.

Step 3: Wrapping the Bottle

Cut a piece of tinfoil that is long enough to wrap all the way around the bottle, and is wide enough so that it goes about 3/4 of the way up of the base of the bottle, not the neck. I found that it is easiest to lay the tinfoil flat and set the bottle across it, then one end of the tinfoil you tape to the side of the bottle. As you roll it paint on the clear nail polish, this will act as a glue and will keep the bottle and the tinfoil in contact. After you have wrapped it all the way around use the tape to hold the end on the bottle. Now you need to wrap the bottom of the bottle. If you cut a square piece of tinfoil you can press the tinfoil into the pit at the bottom of the bottle. Once you have a form of the bottom of the bottle, paint the entire bottom with the nail polish and press the formed tinfoil in to it. Let the nail polish dry for the time specified on the bottle.

Step 4: The Salt Water

The inside of the bottle needs to be filled with salt water up to the top of where your tinfoil ends. What I did was boiled water in a teapot and then poured it in to my measuring cup (I used about 6 cups by the way to fill 2 wine bottles and 1 beer bottle). Once the boiling water is in the measuring cup pour enough salt to make it a 1 to 12 ratio of salt to water. Meaning if you have 6 cups of water you will need about 1/2 a cup of salt. Once you have your salt poured in use your BBQ stick to stir the water until it turns clear again. Now you have to wait until your water is cool, it took mine about an hour but you could speed it up by putting it in the fridge.

Step 5: Filling the Bottles

Once your water has cooled and you have finished wrapping your bottles in tinfoil, you will need to put the water in the bottles. If you want you can get a funnel to pour the water in or you can make a mess like I did and do it free hand. Fill the bottle up to the top of the tinfoil. If you fill it up any more there will be accidental discharges into the air and the capacitor won't work. After the water is in you need to pour your vegetable oil on top of the water. You should fill it up to about the base of the neck. After you have finished filling it with the liquids, you will need to seal the top of the bottle so that if it tips over it won't make too big of a mess. An optional step you can take is to put syran wrap over the putty just in case...

Step 6: Finishing the Cap

After you have finished building the capacitor, to use it, one wire sticks down through the putty and into the salt water. This is the + terminal. The tinfoil on the outside is the - terminal. You can use a bunch of these in series or parallel to ramp up the volts. Be safe and have fun!